It’s Day 6 of our Christmas Countdown and today we’re looking at a bottle that is very close to our hearts. This whisky was our first independent bottling and was released to celebrate our 3rd Anniversary. Since then it has gone on to win an award at the Independent Bottlers Challenge and become internationally recognised. Of course, we’re talking about the Eigashima 2011 ‘Kikou’. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
A single cask bottling created at the Eigashima distillery in Japan, our first private release whisky is a special one. At a little more than 6 years old, it’s a relatively young whisky, but what it lacks in age it more than makes up for in character.
For this expression we wanted to do something extra-special.
Firstly, we sourced quality spirit from Eighashima Shuzo’s White Oak Distillery, the same place that the famed Akashi single malt range is produced. The distillery sits just 20 metres from the Inland Sea and as a result, the spirit is known for its floral and maritime notes. Even as new-make, it’s full of flavour and slightly different from the crowd, and that suited us perfectly.
Then we had to find wood to mature it in.
When we heard that an ex-Port Ellen cask was available, the world famous Islay distillery that fell silent in 1983, we immediately knew that we couldn’t let the opportunity pass. And so, we created the Kikou – Japanese whisky matured in a cask that had previously housed heavily peated Port Ellen whisky.
The spirit was then left to mature for over 6 and half years, soaking up the flavours and aromas of the wood and the peaty, fruity Port Ellen that it had housed previously.
The result was 300 bottles of complex, intricate and delicate whisky that we’re enormously proud of. Peat smoke, campfire, toffee and citrus fruits meet a salty tang and hints of lemon zest in this well-rounded and balanced expression that brings a lot to be explored.
Not content with just good whisky, we wanted to make sure the bottle and labelling that it came packaged in was as elegant and adventurous as the liquid itself.
The label depicts a chrysanthemum, a flower local to Akashi City park, home to the Eigashima distillery. Our depiction draws upon the Ukiyo-e style of Japanese art which flourished in modern Tokyo in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
The flower, much like Eigashima whisky, thrives in the saline rich soil of the park and it brings unquestionable beauty, much like Eigashima whisky.
The Kikou also comes with a Japanese stand that will allow this bottle to be the centrepiece of your collection and will no doubt be a conversation starter for any family and friends that you’re hosting.
This innovative and groundbreaking expression was our first private bottling, so it simply wouldn’t have felt right to leave this dekanta favourite out of our 2018 Christmas Countdown.
It may have been our first private label, but it certainly won’t be our last. In fact, we’ll be announcing something very exciting on New Year’s Eve, so watch this space for news and updates.
Other dekanta Exclusives
The Kikou is our first and only private bottling so far, but since then we’ve had a hand in a couple of exclusive releases from some of the best distilleries, and wineries, in Asia.
The Kavalan ‘One’ and Kavalan ‘Two’ bottlings are superb whiskies from the hugely successful Taiwanese Distillery that we would highly recommend, while the Geisha Neko Red Wine offers luxury, full-bodied red wine if you fancy trying something a little different.